The National Weather Service is forecasting statewide wind chills to periodically dip down to 20 degrees below zero, or even lower, through the remainder of the week. With these below freezing temperatures affecting our entire region, the Wayne County Homeland Security and Emergency Management Division is encouraging Wayne County residents and visitors to take extra precautions when going out in the extreme cold.
“Severe weather, especially the extreme cold that we are experiencing this week, can pose health and safety concerns with frostbite, hypothermia, freezing pipes and even potential power outages” said Wayne County Executive Warren Evans. “We hope that with some additional planning and preparing, Wayne County residents can be ready to deal with these extremely cold and potentially dangerous temperatures.”
Tips to stay safe during extremely cold weather
- Monitor local weather reports.
- Stay indoors if possible. If you must go outside, wear protective gear—such as hats, mittens and gloves—in addition to a warm coat.
- Watch for signs of frostbite, which include loss of feeling or pale appearance of fingers, toes or face.
- Watch for signs of hypothermia, which include uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, drowsiness and exhaustion.
- Understand the hazards of wind chill. As wind speed increases, heat is carried away from a person’s body more rapidly and could lead to severe hypothermia.
- Remove clothing if it gets damp or wet. Wet clothing can make you more prone to hypothermia.
- Weather-proof doors and windows to trap heat inside your home.
- Check heating units. Poorly operating or damaged heating units can release carbon monoxide gas. Test carbon monoxide detectors for proper operation and battery life.
- Check on family, friends and neighbors who are at risk and may need additional assistance.
- Watch pets closely and keep them indoors when possible. Animals can suffer from hypothermia, frostbite and other cold weather injuries.
- Check and restock your emergency preparedness kit. If you don’t have a kit, make one.
- Minimize travel. If travel is necessary, keep a full tank of gas and an emergency preparedness kit in your vehicle. Put warm clothing—such as gloves, blankets and hats—in your kit in case you become stranded.
During a winter event, drivers are reminded that they can access the Wayne County “Compass” technology to learn what major highways and surface roads have been cleared by the Wayne County Roads Divisions fleet of snow plows and salt trucks. The Wayne County “Compass” system can be located near the top of the Wayne County homepage at www.waynecounty.com
Citizens who may need additional assistance during this extreme cold are encouraged to call the statewide Michigan 211 telephone number for resources.